Sunday, December 26, 2010

Almora Hill Station

Almora is situated on the hilly terrain of the Kumaon district in the State of Uttarakhand in India. Almora is famous for its virgin Himalayan beauty, coupled with exotic cuisines, buzzing wildlife, and handicrafts and is wrapped in rich cultural heritage. Striking mountain beauty, quaint little village houses, orchards, snow-fed, sun-washed mountain peaks are a treat to the eyes.

Almora used to the historical capital of the Chand dynasty, and was given away by Katyuri king Baichaldeo to the Chand Tiwari, a Gujrati Brahmin. It was declared the capital in 1560 by the Chand rulers. It is also known to have found a place in the ancient Hindu scriptures and Skanda Purana and was known to exist even in the Vedic Age.

[caption id="attachment_943" align="alignright" width="384" caption="The temples at Jageshwar, believed to include the Nagesh Jyotirlinga."]The temples at Jageshwar in Almora[/caption]

How to reach

By road
Almora is extremely well connected by road to nearly all major cities of North India. Distance measured by road from Lucknow is 466 kms, Bareilly is 205 kms, and Dehradun is about 412 kms. Nanital, another major Hill station, is just 71 kms away, and Haldwani is situated very close at about 96 kms away. The capital Delhi is around 382 kms, Kathgodam is just 90 kms, Pithoragarh is 122 kms, and Haridwar 357 kms away.

By rail
Kathgodam is the nearest major railway station that connects Almora to almost all major cities of India.

By air
Pantnagar is the nearest airport from Almora, which as about 127 kms from Almora.

Places to see
There are a number of ancient and famous temples in and around Almora worth visiting. Chitai Temple is famous for Golu Devta an incarnation of Gaur Bhairav and is known to make your wish come true and is situated about 8 kms from the city. Kosi Temple, another famous temple 10 kms away, is a Sun Temple built by the Katyuri Dynasty. Gananath is a famous Shiva Temple at about 47 kms away from Almora. Someshwar, Jageshwar, and Vridh Jageshwar, Jhoola Devi Temple, Binsar Mahadev are some other famous temples extremely popular among the visitors. Mritola Ashram can be visited to enjoy its atmosphere of peace and serenity. Private taxis are easily available for sightseeing.

Famous spots you must not miss
Kausani, a famous hill station 50 kms from Almora with its breath-taking beauty, is a must for Almora visitors. Ranikhet, also known as the Queens Field is another major destination. Chaubatia, a place famous for its orchards is a primary attraction.

Fruit juices and other fruit extracts coupled with handcrafted shawls and winter wear are mostly sold.

Places to stay
Circuit House and the Forest Rest House are maintained by the Government for tourists. Other reputed hotels and resorts are Hotel Shikhar, Surmool, Hotel Himsagar, Hotel Ranjana, Hotel Ashok, Snow View Resort Almora, Hotel Alka, Hotel Shyam, Hotel Trishul, Hotel Savoy, and Hotel Pawan.

Best Time to Visit
Almora is a pleasant destination during the summer months and also is visited by thousands of tourists during the winter months to enjoy the charm of the freezing cold, snow-clad peaks. It can be visited all round the year but tourists are recommended to avoid the rainy months of June, July, and August.

Almora can easily be called the Switzerland of India. It is situated at a height of 5900 feet. Mild summers and chilly, freezing winters make up its climate.


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